Monday, 27 April 2015

Browser tools you should stop using

Browser tools you should stop using

Outdated plug-ins and add-ons compromise the security and stability of Chrome and Firefox. Robert Irvine explains why and how you should remove them


What's wrong with it?
Barely a week goes by without another security flaw being discovered in Flash, which leaves Adobe doing more patching than a patchwork-quilt factory. In 2012, the company had to introduce its own ‘Patch Tuesday-style monthly security update just to fix frequent vulnerabilities in Flash. And earlier this year, three serious ‘zero-day exploits’ (previously unknown security holes), which allowed hackers to infect your PC with Trojans, were discovered in the space of a month (

Add to this the well-known performance problems - such as Flash crashing and taking your browser with it - and it’s clear why you should opt out of this buggy old plug-in.

10 reasons to switch from Google to Bing

from Google to Bing

Just because nearly 90 per cent of us use Google to search the web, doesn’t mean it’s always the best choice. Rob Beattie reveals 10 brilliant things that Bing does better than its rival

Bing can predict the future

While most of us use a search engine to find out about stuff that’s already happened, Bing Predicts ( tries to foretell the results of events that have yet to occur - such as football matches, horse races and TV talent shows. It makes its educated guesses by analysing the popularity of a particular outcome - the preferences of pundits, news outlets and analysts and of people on social media - and then combines them to estimate the likely result. To see these frequently accurate estimates in action, just add ‘predictions’ to your search query - for example, ‘European Champions League predictions’ - to see what Bing thinks will happen. Apparently Real, Juventus, Bayern and, surprisingly, PSG are all set to go through (you’ll know if they did by the time you read this). Try the same thing with Google and it merely takes you to the official UEFA match predictor.

Our guide to OpenCandy

Our guide to OpenCandy

One name that frequently crops up as a PUP (potentially unwanted program) is OpenCandy, although its makers strongly deny that it’s malware. David Crookes takes a closer look

What is it?

OpenCandy ( is an advertising plug-in that many software developers now include within their installers. It allows them to recommend other developers’ tools during the installation process, and give users the option of accepting or declining the additional software. If a user decides a recommended product looks interesting and accepts it, the extra program is then automatically installed.

Download Free Software With NO Catches

Download Free Software With NO Catches

Are you getting more than you bargained for from free software? Wayne Williams explains how to download the programs and apps you want, without any nasty surprises

When we look for programs to include in our Best Free Software section each issue, we endeavour to find software that is new, free and not dangerous to your PC’s health. Unfortunately, these days a lot of free downloads come bundled with ‘crapware’ or have limitations that might not be immediately obvious at first glance. A system tool might, for example, find problems with your PC, but require you to upgrade to a paid-for ‘pro’ version before it can fix them. Is it unreasonable to expect something that is described as ‘free’, to actually be free? We think not, but fortunately there are ways of avoiding the various tricks and traps to ensure that you only download ‘pure’ free software and apps.

In this feature, we provide tips and advice on avoiding unwanted extras, look at how ‘free’ apps might end up costing you a small fortune, and reveal how to find out if a program is clean or not, before you download it.

What's so bad about violence?


From Mortal Kombat X to Hatred, violent games what’s so bad about are back in the headlines. Is it time to own up to how much we love them?

We love violent games. There's no point in trying to deny it. They’ve formed the backbone of our favourite gaming experiences over the last couple of decades. From the moment blood and gore could be depicted in pixelated form, we’ve lapped them up (if you’ll forgive the rather gruesome image). They may be attacked and maligned and often used as the scapegoats of all our ills, but we have no shame in admitting our adoration.

eSports Are Changing Game Design

female esport

With their popularity growing each year, we discuss and discover how eSports are influencing the wider world of game design.

Not all that long ago, ‘eSports’ conjured up visions of otherwise derelict basements and LAN-cafes playing host to small numbers of dedicated clans vying for personal satisfaction and micro-scale fame. These were the early proving grounds across which the likes of Counter-Strike, Team Fortress and any number of RTS title would thrive. Such dens, with an almost prohibition-grade aura of suspicion and mystery to the outsider, were the haven of the hallowed few – the originators of a dedication to digital competition that is influencing, with greater regularity each year, the economics and culture of gaming as a whole.